Watch Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge on RTL CBS Extreme

While I don’t watch much television because I hardly have time, I make sure what I do watch is compelling entertainment. Last Wednesday, I got to preview Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge season 2 and I really liked what I saw!

From the producers of American Ninja Warrior, the Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge takes talented Spartan Race obstacle course racers and adds a team element to the challenging course it presents to them. This means teams not only have to be strong individually, but also work harmoniously together to overcome the obstacles. Six teams compete in heats of three teams each per week, with the winning teams of each heat and the fastest runner-up team moving through to the next round. Teams are competing for a grand prize of $250,000 so you’ll definitely see them going all out.Β  Continue reading “Watch Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge on RTL CBS Extreme”

Adidas Runners Launched in Manila

Adidas Runners is a global running movement that aims to energize, support, and unite runners around the world. Rolled out in key cities, Adidas Runners has a “run hard, play hard” mentality with personalized milestone plans, expert coaching, and unique rewards. Members can feel at home in any city they visit by connecting with the Adidas Runners squads around the world.

While last year Adidas launched partnerships with various running groups throughout the metro, the launch of Adidas Runners in Manila two weeks ago has brought formal re-entry into our local running community space with branded running sessions and their own coaching approach. Continue reading “Adidas Runners Launched in Manila”

Return to Endurance, Week 3

Usually when you start a new workout routine, it takes two weeks for you to feel a difference, but longer than that for any change in appearance to manifest. So it was really a surprise when someone from the gym told me I already looked slimmer than when she last saw me a month ago.

(The scale tells me I am still hovering around the same weight regardless. *shakes fist at scale*) At this point I feel as if I’ve knocked the rust off and am regaining some of my old fitness.Β  Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 3”

Fitness First Launches Spartan SGX Group Workout

The thing about having a mature running and sports community in the Philippines is you start seeing more technical events on the calendar. With Spartan Race Sprint happening on September 16, 2017 at Timberland Heights, it’s no longer enough to have the endurance to keep running. Other skills come into play to tackle the obstacles which can involve rope climbs, lugging heavy weights, and mud crawls!

(For a better idea of how a Spartan Race Sprint goes, watch this video.)

That’s where “Spartan SGX” comes in, exclusively available in the Philippines at Fitness First. Using their existing Freestyle training area and Elite Fitness First Spartan SGX-trained coaches, this 45-minute group class mimics the type of movements participants will need to do on race day. As Spartan Race’s official fitness partner, Fitness First offers Spartan SGX not just to Fitness First members but also Spartan Race registered participants.

I got to experience Spartan SGX last week at the launch. Continue reading “Fitness First Launches Spartan SGX Group Workout”

Return to Endurance, Week 2

It was an inspired week of swimming, cycling, and running for me, just in time to see the awesome Southeast Asian Games results from the marathon and triathlon.

Mary Joy Tabal won the women’s marathon and the Philippines’ first gold medal at the Games, leading by over seven minutes by the finish. She topped her 2015 silver medal finish and marathon time, going under the 3-hour mark at 2:48. I recall the drama a few months back when she was dropped from the SEAG roster because PATAFA disapproved of her training overseas with her own coach rather than in Manila or Baguio with a national team coach. (Cue my rolling eyes.) Happily they came to a compromise, and hopefully now PATAFA realizes there was wisdom in Mary Joy’s investment in herself and supports that.

I was busy writing this post when the results from the SEAG triathlon races came in, with Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano for the men and Kim Mangrobang and Claire Adorna for the women taking gold and silver respectively. Knowing how these athletes have been in development at training camps in Portugal, Australia, and Thailand for the past two years it was great to see that investment paying off in medals. It will be interesting to see when the other nations catch on and start funding their own athletes’ training…

Obviously I’m not one to be in contention for SEA Games; I wear the “age grouper” and “recreational athlete” label proudly! But it’s nice to see my country excelling regionally in the sports I love. Meanwhile, I put in the work for my own development. Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 2”

“Kaya ng Pinay” – About the First Filipina Norseman Finisher

I wrote a little last year about Omar Paredes, the first Filipino to have won a slot in the Norseman Triathlon lottery who then went on to finish and grab a Black Shirt (given only to the first 160 finishers). This year, Laarni Paredes became the first Filipina Norseman finisher! Laarni and Omar are one of the Philippines’ preeminent tri-couples and this makes them the first Filipino couple to finish Norseman. (Does anyone want to use the hashtag #couplegoals?) The two are co-captains of the Herbalife Triathlon Team and were supported by Herbalife during both their Norseman campaigns.

Laarni Paredes, first Filipina Norseman finisher
during the grueling marathon after a rainy, chilly swim and a mountainous bike ride

The Norseman is the world’s most famous extreme full-distance triathlon. If you think the full distance of 3.8 kilometers swimming, 180 kilometers biking, and 42 kilometers running is hardcore, an extreme triathlon takes this to a whole new level. The Norseman swim is done in a fjord where temperatures rarely rise above 13 degrees Celsius — you jump off a barge and swim to shore. The bike ride includes five mountain passes with a total elevation gain of a little more than 3,000 meters. The marathon, depending on whether you finish on top of the mountain with a Black Shirt, or around the mountain with a White shirt, has an elevation gain of 750-1500 meters including the infamous Zombie Hill, so steep few can run up it. From thousands of applicants, only 250 people receive slots during the annual Norseman lottery. Continue reading ““Kaya ng Pinay” – About the First Filipina Norseman Finisher”

Athleticism and Artistry with Ballet Manila’s 22nd Season

I’ve always been fascinated by ballet. While the sum total of my formal ballet training is one summer in my childhood, it changed my posture and fixed my pigeon-toed walk, while revealing how much of the effortless grace I saw on stage was backed up by years of hard work and practice. Ballet dancers are as much full-time athletes as artists. Whenever I have the opportunity to take in a ballet I do so not just to appreciate the beauty of the dancing and the music, but also to marvel at how the dancers are able to command their bodies to do their will.

Ballet Manila recently previewed their upcoming 22nd performance season, titled “Flights of Fantasy”. Featuring four ballets including two new all-original works, the country’s premier classical dance company aims to appeal to a wider audience and to “bring ballet to the people.”

Ballet Manila 22nd season
Q&A after the season preview

Continue reading “Athleticism and Artistry with Ballet Manila’s 22nd Season”